Nick Margevicius had pitched in just one game above the Single-A level when, at age 22, he joined the San Diego Padres’ rotation last season.
A year and another organization later, he said he’s more prepared for the task.
“I just handled it the best I could at the time,” Margevicius said. “Looking back on it, maybe it was a little quick. Maybe I wasn’t quite ready for some things.”
The left-hander will get another chance Saturday night when he’s scheduled to make his first start for Seattle. The Mariners will host the Colorado Rockies in an interleague game.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” Margevicius said. “I’ve always been a starter, but whatever I’ve got to do this year, we’re just going with it. This is a weird year, and I’m willing to do whatever we’ve got to do to help us win.”
Margevicius was 2-6 with a 6.79 ERA for the Padres last year before being put on waivers. He was claimed by the Mariners in the offseason and started the abbreviated campaign in the bullpen, registering a 5.40 ERA in three appearances in relief, before an injury to Kendall Graveman opened a spot in Seattle’s six-man rotation.
“Our analytical group grades out all our guys’ pitches on a scale, and his stuff is really pointing north,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It’s getting better, the fastball, the quality of the breaking pitches. The thing I like about Marg is he’s very calm and has a very professional approach. He’s a pitch maker and knows how to execute pitches and sequence them together. It’s not just stuff coming at you. Even though he’s a young guy, he’s got a pretty mature approach to how he’s attacking hitters.”
Margevicius described his past year as a “wild ride.”
“From the time I got called up (with the Padres) to coming over to the Mariners, then the whole quarantine stuff,” said the pitcher, who turned 24 in June. “But the thing I’ve learned the most is how to be adaptable. I think everyone is kind of learning that lesson and I think it really applies to the baseball field.”
Margevicius was 0-2 with a 16.55 ERA in three starts against the Rockies last season.
Colorado was scheduled to send right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez to the mound, but he was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday with right biceps tendinitis.
Instead, the Rockies will start right-hander Ryan Castellani, one of their top pitching prospects. He was recalled from their alternate training site and will make his major-league debut, manager Bud Black announced.
Bone fragments in his elbow limited Castellani, a second-round draft pick as a high schooler in 2014, to 10 starts in Triple-A last season, but he impressed in the Arizona Fall League with a 2.16 ERA in five starts.
“He’s had ups and downs in his career, but for a high school pitcher (coming into pro ball), a lot of times it takes time to fully get grounded and understand how to get outs,” Black told The Denver Post. “For Ryan, a lot of it was delivery, finding the correct arm slot for him, and his mix of pitches. … All those things have started to come together in the last year.”
The National League West-leading Rockies won the series opener 8-4 Friday as Garrett Hampson, Charlie Blackmon and Daniel Murphy hit home runs.
–Field Level Media